Listing of the Week


This listing of the week is a quintessential southern home with wrap-around porches on every floor in a private retreat on over 3 acres in Brentwood, TN. Complete with 6 bedrooms and 6 full bathrooms (all en suite), a gourmet kitchen, a finished basement with an in-law suite, and over 7,000 square-feet. The backyard is the perfect outdoor getaway with a fire-pit, hammock, and large mature trees giving you total privacy. Listed for $1,490,000 by Cindy Stanton from PARKS in Brentwood. View this listing here.



LuxuryPortfolio logoLuxury Portfolio International® markets over 25,000 properties of the world’s most remarkable properties annually on its award-winning website,  The site attracts over 1.2 million high-net-worth visitors a year and features a total inventory of available properties in excess of $41 billion.  Luxury Portfolio is unmatched in the global arena, with members in 30 countries, site translation in nine languages and multiple currencies and visitors from 200 countries/territories visit the site every month.

Fun Things to Pack in Your Children’s Lunches

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If you’re a parent of school-age children, the time has rolled around once more to start packing lunches. Finding creative ways to entice your kids to eat what you pack is a challenge for all parents. Just as we would get bored eating the same food every day, so too will our kids. It’s important to offer them a variety of interesting foods, but it can be tough to constantly come up with new ideas.


Keep in mind the following tips while gearing up for another school year. These ideas will help streamline your lunch-packing process:

  • Store all of your lunch materials and containers together. Designate a large drawer, cupboard shelf or section of your pantry solely to boxes, containers, bags, clips, plastic utensils, juice boxes, etc. so that you (and your kids) always know exactly where to look when packing lunch. This can save you valuable time, especially when you’re running late or feeling sluggish.


  • Have your kids bring home food that they don’t eat. Explain to your children that they won’t be punished for not eating something, but that you want to get an idea for what they like and don’t like. This will help you to decide what items to continue packing. Sending food that you wish they would eat (but that they really don’t like) doesn’t do anyone any good.


Here are some ideas that will help you spice up your children’s lunches without being ultra time-consuming to pack:

  • Wraps – Kids love playing with their food and this is the perfect way to let them do just that while also eating something they love! By using a Bento-style food box with divided spaces, you can pack wraps or tortillas in one section and the “insides” of the wrap in the other sections. Deli meat, cheese, spinach and sliced veggies and fruits all make excellent healthy wrap ideas for kids.


  • Dips – Who doesn’t love dipping sauces? They’re delicious, and they can be an excellent way to entice your children to eat vegetables. Hummus is also packed with protein, and goes well with just about any crunchy veggies. If your child isn’t a fan of hummus, try ranch dressing and broccoli. Throw in some grapes or apple slices and a square of chocolate for a sweet ending to this yummy lunch.


  • Breakfast – If your family loves to indulge in a big breakfast on the weekends, make good use of the leftovers by packing them for lunches. Pancakes are great served cold, as is bacon and sausage. Eggs are best served hard boiled for lunch. This meal pairs perfectly with orange slices and yogurt.


  • Sandwiches with a twist – Let’s face it: regular sandwiches can get boring. Mix it up a little by changing out the bread with something different. Apple slices work great, and they taste delicious with peanut butter. Another way to pair apples and peanut butter is in a wrap. Include the wrap separately as mentioned above. In different containers or compartments, place peanut butter and diced apple pieces. Your child can mix the apples and peanut butter into a yummy spread to place on their tortillas!

Tips for Organizing Your Homeschool Room

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Whether you’re just delving into the homeschool world or if you’re a seasoned homeschooler, you may find that organizing your home is one of the bigger challenges you’ll face. In order to be successful learners, your children need space to be able to learn, read, write, experiment and more!


Some parents are able to dedicate a room to homeschooling, while others like to create learning areas throughout the home. Either way, what follows are some tips to help make the most of whatever space you have:


  • Invest in at least one set of shelves – You can find excellent organizational shelves at Ikea, specifically the Kallax series, but you can make almost any type of shelving work for you. If you’re on a tight budget, you may even be able to find a suitable set at a thrift store or on Craigslist. Ideally, your shelves should be deep enough and tall enough to allow room for you to insert organizational bins. This is a great way to keep things like manipulatives, projects, games, art supplies and other materials separated, easily transportable (the bins are removable and can be moved to any part of the house) and looking presentable.

  • Label everything – Labelling each of your bins will help your children keep everything in its place, but it will also aid in teaching early readers how to sound out words. Children who haven’t started reading yet (age 4/5 or younger) will require pictures along with word labels.

  • Use a shoe organizer to store writing supplies – This is a great storage solution for several reasons. The clear plastic will allow children to see what is in each compartment, and it’s so affordable! Instead of having pencil cups, boxes, or pouches strewn all about your home, keep different types of writing materials in each “shoe” pouch! Pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, erasers, paper clips, colored pencils, post it notes, glue sticks, notecards and even paper can be stored in an over-the-door shoe organizer. Your children will have access to supplies without having to interrupt you while you may be busy instructing another child.

  • Devote a space to your own materials – As the teacher, you will need adequate room for your own supplies like manuals, stickers, rewards, planner, pens (that you want to keep for yourself!), paper cutter, laminator (optional), computer and printer, etc. By devoting an area solely to your own materials, you’ll be able to stay further organized because the children should not have access to the “teacher only” area.

  • Spice things up – Take the time before homeschooling begins to add little extra touches that make your homeschool area(s) inviting and attractive. Just like a traditional classroom, children (and teachers) are happier and find more success when they are in a welcoming environment. Use vibrant colors on posters, labels and book covers to brighten up the space. Turn regular, boring binders into a design feature of the room by simply covering them with colorful fabric and then displaying them on one of your sets of shelves.

Listing of the Week


This home is a historic, vintage 1934 Stone Tudor with all old character and charm, but with renovated bathrooms and kitchen. Many original features include hardwoods up and down and still include the original windows. Perfect location being close to the Richland Greenway and McCabe Golf Course near Sylvan Park. 4 bedrooms, and 3 Full baths. Cedar lined closets as well as 10 ft ceilings. This perfect and cozy home is listed for $739,900 by Charlotte Ann Edwards from Parks in Green Hills. Find out more about this home here.

Colleges in Middle Tennessee


Middle Tennessee has an abundance of colleges and universities so that regardless of your academic plans, you will be sure to find a place that fits your needs. The Nashville and surrounding areas have 21 accredited four-year and postgraduate institutions all with different economic and cultural identities. In addition, Middle Tennessee has five community colleges and many vocational and technical schools. If you are thinking of going to school in the Nashville or surrounding areas, here are some options to explore.


Colleges and Universities


Community Colleges


Vocational Schools


Listing of the Week


The listing of the week is a lovely home located in Hideaway at Arrington, 7048 Lanceleaf Drive in Arrington, TN listed for $1,129,000. Relax and warm yourself in front of the floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Cooking is made easier in the kitchen thanks to an island that’s always within reach. Entertaining will be memorable in the well appointed dining room. You’ll find 4 bedrooms and 4 full baths in this home. This home offers amazing golf, sunset, and bluff vistas.

Stunning home by Britt Development Group features incredible views of the golf course, bluffs and sunsets! Community offers 18-hole golf course, resort-style pool and spa, clubhouse, fishing ponds, tennis courts, walking and biking trails!

This home is listed by Liz Zipperer and Scott Evans from Parks in the Gulch. View the listing here.

How to Find the Best School for your Kids When Moving

Finding SchoolsIf you’re preparing to make a move to a new home, you already know that it’s a monumental decision in one’s life. It becomes even more significant if you have children who are (or will soon be) of school age.


Whether they’re already enrolled in school or their school career is just around the corner, moving house is one of the most impactful moments that can happen in any child’s life. You can make the transition easier by ensuring that their new school measures up.


Regardless of your preference for public or private school, there are a number of important factors to consider when deciding where to move. Even if you’re locked in to a generalgeographic location because of your job requirements, you can examine all of the schools – at least from a distance – in that area before setting up house.

Try to keep the following things in mind as you seek out your child(ren)’s new school:


  • Make a wish list. Together with your child, make a written list of the qualities you and they would love to have in a school. For example: specific instructional styles, size of the school, class size, learning structure, grading system, diversity, extra-curricular activities and specific class offerings like languages. Use this list to refer to as you consider each school.

  • Look at school performance records. In addition to ticking off items on your wish list, it’s also important to investigate how well a potential school compares in terms of test scores, college readiness, attendance and parent reviews.

  • Visit the top contenders. If possible, once you have your list narrowed down to a manageable number, your best next move is to physically pay a visit to each remaining option. Without actually seeing the school in action, you can miss important nuances and details about the administration, staff and students that you simply can’t glean from a distance.

  • Ask other parents. This may prove to be a challenge, but if you’re able to make a visit to the school, ask the principal if there are any parents who you may contact to learn more. Additionally, if you already know anyone who lives in the area, see if they happen to have any friends or relatives with children who attend the school in question. You may even be able to use your professional network to connect with the right people, especially if the move is related to your job.

  • Focus on the big picture. While we definitely advocate for doing your due diligence when it comes to picking out a new school system for your child, the big picture is more important than tiny little minutiae that may cause some hesitation. Keep in mind that every school will probably have at least something that is less-than-optimal, but your goal should be to have its ‘Pros’ list outnumber its ‘Cons’ list.


After you’ve made a selection and have enrolled your child in their new school, it’s important to make sure that everything goes smoothly, but it is equally important that you are able to trust your child’s new school staff.

How to Search for Schools on PARKS Website and Mobile App


It can be difficult to find the best places to live so that your children or child can go to a good school. But with the PARKS new features to the website and mobile app, there is now an easier and more convenient way to locate schools in your desired area.


PARKS Website

The PARKS website now has a new, organized design to assist PARKS website visitors in making well-informed decisions about neighborhoods and communities in Middle Tennessee. One of the great features is the school locater in the “neighborhoods” section of the website where there are boxes that you can select such as schools, hospitals, banks, churches, restaurants and theatres, that display your selection in your desired area(s). For example, if you select Williamson County, then Franklin, then click the schools box, it will display the school zone on the map the over 15 schools located in Franklin.

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PARKS Mobile App

The latest update on the PARKS mobile app has allowed visitors to type in a specific school district, or name of a desired school, and the app will outline the school zone on a map as well as display all of the listings in the selected area. This feature is a convenient way to find a great home in the area you want that also best suits your children’s schools. Here, you can create an account that works interchangeably with the website and app to give you the option to favorite and make notes on your favorite properties.


Parks app


Listing of the Week


This fabulous estate is sited near Hillwood Country Club in Davidson County. This home is equipped with built-ins where you can showcase your collectibles. It also has rugged and rustic ceiling beams that are the architectural highlight in the living room. Marble countertops accent the state of the art chef’s kitchen. Entertaining will be memorable in the well appointed dining room. You’ll find 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths and 2 half baths, billiard room, media room, heated saltwater pool and hot tub in this home. This home is listed by Sue Ray from Parks in Brentwood for $1,919,500 and to see the full listing, click here.

Back to School Tips for Parents

blog-2016-08-backtoschoolIt never ceases to amaze any of us just how quickly summer flies by as August sneakily slips right into September. Alas, once again we’re nigh on the new school year and many parents along with their children are gearing up for getting ‘back to school.’


All school-age children feel some degree of anticipatory anxiety about everything that comes along with entering a new school year: a different teacher, unfamiliar faces, more advanced curriculum, and potentially a new school altogether.

As parents, there are many things you can do in order to adequately prepare both your children and yourself for the new adventures that await you in the upcoming academic year:

  • Set up a bedtime schedule. A week or two in advance of the first day of school, start getting your kids to bed earlier each night. Try working backwards by fifteen minutes a night, so that by the time the school bus arrives, they’ll be well-rested and (relatively) easy to rouse from bed, making mornings easier on all of you.

  • Review the basics. Most schools have students work on summer packets and/or summer reading projects, but you can up the ante a bit by refreshing their basic math and writing skills. Pinterest has a lot of fun, grade-appropriate ideas for learning games you can make at home, or you can keep it simple and use flash-cards and a daily journal.

  • Make the most out of August. As the last month before school grinds into gear again, use August to be fully present with your children. Engage their minds by taking some fun, end-of-summer trips to nearby museums and historical sites. Ask them a lot of questions about what they see there or work with them afterward to make a project about their trip.

  • Crack open a book. Some kids are natural readers and may have been reading all summer long, which is fantastic! However, there are many children who may need a little encouragement toward picking up a good book instead of a game controller. Make a trip to your town library or bookstore during which you and your children each select a book to read in the weeks prior to school starting.

  • Get your child a medical check-up. Although not always mandated by every school system, scheduling your child’s yearly exam immediately before school begins will ensure that s/he is healthy, up-to-date on immunizations and can hear and see well.

  • Take advantage of Open House nights. If your child’s school offers an Open House event wherein parents and students can meet new teachers and get familiar with new classrooms or schools – don’t hesitate to attend! These are great opportunities for both you and your kids to ease back into school mentality. Meeting the teacher and seeing their new classroom and/or school ahead of time often quells both student and parent anxieties.